Defensive back ANTOINE BETHEA of the Indianapolis Colts, wide receiver GREG JENNINGS of the Green Bay Packers, running back MAURICE JONES-DREW of the Jacksonville Jaguars, running back LAURENCE MARONEY of the New England Patriots and running back MICHAEL ROBINSON of the San Francisco 49ers are the finalists for NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK honors for games played on September 24-25, the NFL announced today.
Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com beginning Tuesday at 9am EST and ending Thursday at 5pm EST to determine the NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK. The NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK will be announced Thursday evening on NFL.com.
In addition, for the second year, NFL fans may cast their votes for the NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK using phones with Sprint wireless service - an opportunity available only to Sprint customers. This fast, convenient voting method involves texting the word PEPSI to short code 7777. Sprint customers will then receive an interactive text message that links fans to the ballot with the five finalists each week. Data and text messaging rates may apply.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com and via Sprint wireless service throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XLI in South Florida.
A closer look at the finalists:
-Green Bay's Greg Jennings caught three passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Packers' 31-24 victory over the NFC North division-rival Detroit Lions. Jennings' first reception of the game came on a short pass in the first quarter that he broke open for a 75-yard touchdown sprint down the right sideline.
-Indianapolis' Antoine Bethea led the team with eight solo tackles and four assisted tackles in the Colts' 21-14 victory over the AFC South division-rival Jacksonville Jaguars. Through three games, Bethea ranks fourth on the team with 19 total tackles.
-Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 103 yards on 13 carries in the Jaguars' 21-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. In addition to his average of nearly eight yards per carry, Jones-Drew caught four passes for 32 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, the first TD of his NFL career.
-New England's Laurence Maroney accounted for 145 total yards in the Patriots' 17-7 loss to the Denver Broncos. Maroney caught five passes for 61 yards, returned three kickoffs for 66 yards, and carried 12 times for 18 yards in defeat.
-San Francisco's Michael Robinson carried five times for 29 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers' 38-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Robinson scored on consecutive one-yard touchdown runs late in the third and early in the fourth quarters for the first touchdowns of his NFL career.